Archive for the 'wiki' Category

I done broke the Wikipedia

Well, in an exclusive Wikinews report, it looks like Wikipedia user Scientizzle has “done broke the Wikipedia”.

A couple of Wikipedia users added virus code to a couple of Wikipedia pages to make anti-virus think there was a potential security risk, when in fact everything was fine.

So Scientizzle, an admin, decided to go through and delete the revision history. The only bad thing was one of the affected pages was the sandbox. This basically crashed the server and locked the database and prevented any editing of the encyclopaedia for around half an hour.

Wikinews has the frankly amusing article in its entire exclusive state online.


Wikipedia to fail in 2008?

New Scientist has come out and listed the five technology companies that are going to fail this year (’08). Number two has been listed as Wikipedia.

Wikipedia was listed as number two because of a ‘fight between Google and Wikimedia’.


Wikipedia. The gloves are off in a pointless battle between two of the most successful internet organisations of the last decade: Wikimedia, the parent organisation behind Wikipedia and Google. Last year, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales announced that the organisation was starting work on an open source search engine to which anyone could contribute. The goals, he said, were to make the search algorithm transparent (a clear dig at Google’s notorious secrecy) and to make the results more relevant.

Google responded in December by announcing of Google Knol, [see my Google Knol post here] a barely disguised rip-off of Wikipedia, in which knowledgeable people are encouraged to write articles about their areas of expertise.

Neither organisation really needs to take on the other, so it’s hard to fathom what this is all about. The outcome is easier to call, however.

When it comes to launching online endeavours, we all know that Google gives good web and has numerous successful progeny to prove it. Wikimedia, on other hand, is a one-hit wonder. Its other websites such as Wikinews and Wikibooks are poor cousins to Wikipedia.

So there’s only going to be one winner in this contest, and it ain’t Wikipedia.

See the blog post at New Scientist for the other companies that are supposedly set to fail, which ironically includes Google despite the above reasoning for Wikipedia.

Groan: here comes another competitor to Wikipedia

Google has started their own product to rival the hugely popular free encyclopaedia, Wikipedia.

What they have dubbed “knol” will be written by “experts”; now where have I heard that before… (cough* Citizendium *cough)? Their little units of knowledge will take precedent when searching for particular items of topic over, say, Wikipedia.

They are going to lock the editing of the entries to their approved authors and will only allow the public to suggest changes, etc. But with this you would have thought you could trust what is being written. However, on the Google Blog they wrote this: “Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content.” [Their emphasis.]

Ahh but it gets worse, they are going to completely contrast with Wikipedia by allowing the authors to put in their own opinions and point of views. Wow, “smart” people thought that one up! Jeez!

Oh, and the content will also be influenced by advertisers! “At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads. […] Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads.” I don’t expect anything bad to come from that advertorial decision!

And expect to wade through a few entries on the same topic, “Competition of ideas is a good thing.”

And their sample doesn’t overly help the idea as well. Did anyone else spot the spelling mistake on the second line? I’m not saying that Wikipedia doesn’t have spelling mistakes, but for a sample, Google should have been more careful.

At least their site will be under a Creative Commons licence.

Hat tip: Brian Anderton.

Citizen journalism could have done it better

A Saturday article that ran on 3 News and subsequently uploaded onto their website about the iPhone had one serious problem about it, they spelt it “I-Phone”.

I told them about their problem over spelling via the “Your Say” feature, they ignored it first go, and then acted upon the second letter, with changes visible today. Note, they didn’t post the comments live on their site which is moderated.

This highlights one area, among others, where citizen journalism, or even the idea of a Wiki, is and works better. If that article had been uploaded onto, say, Wikinews, then the article would have been fixed, and that error wouldn’t have been a problem for very long.

Hell, even a quick Google search would have told you that it is spelt iPhone.

Helen Clark gets Wikipedia protection

The Wikipedia entry on Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, has been semi-protected. Ok, so who cares you ask? Well Newstalk ZB and One News to name a couple.

Vandalism, as it goes on Wikipedia, happens all the time. If too much vandalism occurs on one particular page in a short period of time, the page is protected from anonymous users or newly registered users from editing it. This is what happened, I assume, on Clark’s page.

Not newsworthy.

And the One News article says something interesting, “John Howard denies removing potentially damaging details from his Wikipedia site.” – so what is it called? Howapedia?!

Wikipedia edits sourced from Air NZ

Air New Zealand has been revealed that a computer belonging to their network edited an article about a crash disaster to contain false information.

The edit was revealed by the recent Wiki Scanner, which tracks down edits to which corporate machine did the edit. The Wiki Scanner was started by Virgil Griffith, and has since created a lot of media attention due to the amount of conflict of interest writing.

The false information contained in the Wikipedia entry stated that pilots were still divided over whether the crash was due to pilot error, or computer error.

However, the widow of the captain flying the plane, Maria Collins, has rightly said that it doesn’t really matter what Wikipedia has to say about the crash.

Air New Zealand Flight 901 crashed into Mount Erebus, Antarctica in 1979 killing all 257 people on board.

This controversy also comes after it was revealed that Air New Zealand had been flying charter flights for the Australian Defence Force into war zones.

Hat-tip: Brian Anderton.

Exclusive report finally published

Published today was an exclusive, and special report conducted by Gabriel Pollard on New Zealand’s latest digital TV service, Freeview.

The story idea was first thought up when a press release was issued by Jonathan Coleman (one of those interviewed) last month stating that Steve Maharey (also interviewed) should release Freeview subscriber numbers.

This request was denied and well, one thing led to another and a full fledged report was published.

About me

I write at Wikinews, and Practical eCommerce. I thoroughly enjoy writing about news and current affairs. I also have a TV related blog at Throng.

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